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1000 ladies and gentlemen were present. Little more than half of the company could be accommodated at once, and hundreds were obliged to wait for tea until those were served who had arrived in time for the first sitting down. The provisions were of a superior character, and the manner in which they were placed upon the tables reflected the highest credit upon the ladies who superintended the various trays. After tea, the company adjourned to the Philosophical Hall, which was well filled. A great many ministers took their seats on the platform, and the crowded hall presented a cheerful and animated appearance. J. Ridgway, Esq., was called to the chair. A hymn was then sung, and prayer offered; after which
The Chairman opened the meeting by making an excellent speech, during which he remarked that the Connexion to which they belonged was now in a very peaceful state. Peace and good will seemed to be spreading everywhere throughout the Connexion, and we might hope that where there was peace there would come prosperity. It was perfectly clear that we were not enjoying that prosperity which it was desirable we should, considering the stand we took, the excellency of our principles, and the variety of our privileges. We wanted some divine influence, some gracious movement. We wanted some means for an attack upon the masses. We wanted to see the order of Providence, and then to follow it up, so as to be more useful throughout the length and breadth of the land. (Hear, hear.) We had an increase in our chapels, and they were now, to a very great extent, placed in comparatively easy circumstances. The friends of the Connexion had come forward in a most remarkable manner, and paid off a large portion of their debts, and their shoulders and pockets now felt a great deal more comfortable than formerly, and he hoped their spirits also being more comfortable, we should become more and more united in the spirit of energy and prayer, and that the Spirit of God would be poured out upon us, that we mnight rise and witness great prosperity.
Rev. C. ATKINSON, of Ripon, in the course of a short address, observed that he was the only minister alive who came out with the division. When he was a boy about thirteen years of age, he entered so into the spirit of the Connexion, that he readily joined it; and when he was able to compare systems, he thought he
had made a wise and a happy choice, and he had never had any reason to repent of the choice he had made.
Mr. Fenton, of Sheffield, delivered an interesting speech, in the course of which he called the attention of the meeting to the good results which had followed the labours of the missionaries, especially in Canada. The principles which we held, as a body, he believed to be the principles of truth; and on that account great responsibility rested upon us in working out those principles, if they desired that those principles should universally prevail.
The Rev. H. Watts, of Stalybridge, next addressed the meeting. The Con ference had been visited by a large measure of Divine influence, and he believed that next year their progress would be more mighty and world-saving than it had ever been. Some people were accustomed to sing of the "good time coming;" he believed that there was a good time for the Connexion, but they would not wait for it any longer, for they had waited long enough. The work had fairly commenced that Conference. Much as they might desire a large increase to their funds, still the great thing they needed was an enlarged spiritual prosperity, and a glorious entry into the heights and depths of omnipotent love.
The Rev. P. J. Wright, of Longton, the esteemed President of the Conference, then delivered an able speech, He referred to the characteristic of the present age as one of progress. A few centuries ago darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. America was the home of untaught Indians; Africa was peopled with ignorant Hottentots; the Isles of the Sea were filled full of savages; the nations of the East were beneath the clouds of darkness; and in Western Europe Christianity was under a total eclipse, which prevented her from shining forth and illuminating the world; philosophy was unsound, science was based on false principles; learning was principally confined to the priests, and the multitudes were kept in ignorance; and the art of printing was unknown. These were the dark ages when the truth was hidden from the eyes of men. But with the Reformation came a better day. Philosophy was settled on sound principles; science started on a new career; the art of printing was discovered and gave an impetus to literature; and knowledge, with out-spread wings, moved abroad over the face of society; and since that period light had continued to beam upon the darkness of the world; and more especially during the last half century in England, on the continent of Europe, and in America, wonderful discoveries had been made in almost every department of knowledge. (Hear, hear.) Still the light was increasing, and children clothed in rags in the present day knew more than the aged seers of former centuries; the multitude of people were now better taught than the nobles of bygone ages. Never would the cry of philanthropy cease nor science fail to investigate while secret truths remained to be discovered. (Applause.) Amidst this growing intelligence and increasing refinement, the intellect must be instructed, and the feelings of men must be appealed to, in order to subordinate the circumstances around them to the development and growth of manly piety. (Hear.) They must not confine themselves to a narrow circle, but launch out into the wide-spread ocean. Philosophy with its abstract principles, history with its instructive details, science with its sublime facts, poetry with its beautiful images, and literature with its eloquence, should arrest their attention and exercise their faculties. They should gather these trea. sures within the capacious embrace of their intellect, for the development of their manly excellences as well as for their Christian growth. What, he asked, was the main characteristic of our religion? Not formalism, with its gorgeous ceremonies, solemn music, and many prayers: the true characteristic of reli. gion was spiritual; and in order to carry out the great truths of spiritual religion, they should constantly endeavour to show to others that their thoughts, their affections, and their habits were animated with that religious power and heavenly influence, and seek to have their affections placed on things above and not on things of the earth. In the subsequent part of his address, he urged upon his hearers the importance of establishing home missions, and hoped that they might soon be able to boast of another similar to the one which at present existed in Bolton, He believed that this might be done, and trusted that the friends of the Connexion would come forward liberally and labour zealously to obtain that object.
The meeting was subsequently addressed by the Rev, A. Lynn, Mr. Lumby, of Halifax, Mr. Bates, of London, and the Rev. W. Cocker, of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
On the Sunday, the Rev. A. Lynn preached a useful sermon, morning at seven; the Rev. W. Burrows at halfpast ten delivered an excellent discourse on the duty of Christian patience. In the afternoon the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered ; and the Rev. P. J. Wright preached in the evening at six, in the place of the Rev. William Cooke, who was unable to preach in consequence of the loss of voice. The discourse of the president was intellectual, evangelical, and full of holy fervour. The whole of the services were very numerously attended.
On Monday morning at five the Rev. John Nelson, of Chester, preached, and the same evening, at seven, the Rev. W. Sorsby, in place of the Rev. W. Baggaly. On Tuesday, the business of Conference was closed, and the brethren separated in the spirit of harmony and love, determined to labour more zealously for success in every department of usefulness, and to pray more earnestly for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all our Churches.
It should be observed, that besides the services we have named, the pulpits in all parts of the Huddersfield Circuit were supplied by ministers and friends at the Conference.
We must not omit to mention one very interesting circumstance-the presentation of Bagster's comprehensive Bible, and a number of other valuable works, to the venerable ex-president, the Rev. T. Waterhouse, on the completion of his fiftieth year in the ministry. This presentation was gracefully tendered by the President as an expression of the love and esteem of the Conference, May the last days of our venerable friend be full of consolation and joy!
This was, in many respects, one of the happiest Conferences we ever attended. The kindness and hospitality of the IIuddersfield friends were unbounded. Everything was done, both by the beloved superintendent, Mr. Stacey, and the friends universally, to promote the comfort and happiness of the members of Conference; and we are sure they succeeded, and their Christian liberality will long be remembered. The means of grace were well attended, and a gracious influence was felt. The prayer-meetings, as well as other services, were numerously attended, and God was present to bless and to save. We hope that our esteemed friends at Huddersfield will not be long before they pull down their present chapel, and build a much larger one. This is much needed. The present chapel is crowded ; there is but little accommodation for the poor ; all the sittings are let, and more are wanted. Our friends are well able to do a great work. We hope they will soon-very soon-arise and build.
overlooked, that in the returns for the present year there are, as stated in Conference, about 1,500 persons now on probation. Let these facts be looked at with candour, and we shall see that, though our want of greater progress should humble us, we have all the elements of strength and prosperity, which only require the vivifying influences of the Holy Spirit, and the awakening energies of ministers and people, and we shall soon see a day of ingathering, of enlargement, and abundant success.
Our advice, then, is, Let no man despond. Let no man depress his brother's heart or weaken his brother's hands by gloomy complainings. Let all arise to effort. Let all arise to prayer, and enterprizing, zealous labour. Let all pray for great things, labour for great things, and expect great things; and this year, this very year, we shall see the salvation of God. The clouds are gathering, the drops are falling, and the refreshing, fertilizing shower is about to descend upon the hills of our Zion. May God pour it forth in its richest effusions !
THE STATE OF THE CON
NEXION. We have this year a decrease in the number of members returned to the Conference. In England, our numbers are 427 less; but in Ireland we have an increase of 115, and in Canada an increase of 112, leaving a clear decrease of about 200 in the whole Connexion. This is to be regretted, deeply regretted. It should humble us in the dust ; for, instead of a diminution in our numbers, we ought doubtless to make such ag gressions upon the world as would yield an increase of many hundreds every year. So far, then, we have reason to be ashamed, and humble ourselves deeply before our God, and from the very depths of our souls cry unto him for an outpouring of his Holy Spirit, and a general revival of his work.
Yet let us not despond, let us not do ourselves injustice. How stands the case? Let facts speak for themselves. We have a positive increase of five chapels, three Circuit preachers, nine local preachers, twelve Sabbath-schools, 349 teachers, and 949 scholars. Besides building nine chapels, we have enlarged three others, three others are now in course of erection, and about £4000 of old chapel-debts have been wiped away. We have also a large increase in our funds. Instead of crushing debts, we have a balance in the hand of our Treasurer of the Yearly Collection and Paternal Funds. Our missionary income is much larger. Our Book-room continues to prosper, and all our Connexional institutions are in a healthy and flourishing state. In addition to these facts, we have perfect peace in all our borders, and Connexional attachment stronger than was ever known. We ask, are these signs of weakness, or grounds of despondency? Have we not rather much reason to thank God and take courage? It is an undoubted fact that, if our statistics were taken, as those of the Con gregational Union, we should be regarded as in a healthy, prosperous state.
As to the decrease of our numbers, we believe that the new law of assessment of so much per member for our Connexional funds, operates as an inducement to the exercise of unusual care in making the returns to Conference, and actually pares down our numbers in some Circuits; nor must the fact be
Bolton BAZAAR.—The friends through-. out the Connexion were made acquainted, through the medium of an advertisement on the cover of the Magazine, with the intentions of our members in this town to hold a bazaar in aid of our new chapel. To those directly interested in the effort it was a matter of more than ordinary magnitude, and was looked forward to with feelings of deep concern. It was difficult to avoid anticipating and measuring the result by the standard of our numbers and influence; and such a method of deciding the business beforehand awakened in the minds of some of our good friends any but hopeful emotions. But still faith said, Be of good cheer, and works promised to exceed our expectations. We have proved that faith and works, when conjoined, act admirably together, and produce glorious results. Our Bazaar was opened on Wednesday morning, April 21st, and was continued on the two following days. The collection of articles, both useful and ornamental, called forth exclamations of astonishment from almost every visitor ; and the ample space afforded by the Temperance Hall, coupled with its chaste and elegant adornments, enabled the ladies presiding at the various stalls to display their attractive merchandise to the best advantage. In the ceptre of the room we had a fountain, fitted up with taste and beauty, sending forth its feathery spray to the delight of all on
lookers; and the joyous strains of music enhanced the pleasures of the occasion, Friends from Aston, Bury, Manchester and Rochdale were there to smile upon the enterprise, as well as to patronise it in a more substantial way. All admitted that it was a pleasing sight. But the result, after all, imparted the most gratification; and to those friends in other Circuits (and they are not a few) who sent us contributions of money or articles, it will be pleasing information to learn, that the proceeds amounted to the handsome sum of four hundred and ten pounds. For any of our large societies, this would have been regarded as noble; but for us at Bolton, it was little short of & miracle. Well, to God be all the praise; and to all and everyone of our good friends who have in the smallest degree aided us, we tender our sincere and anfeigned thanks. Truly, they have not laboured in vain. The following are the sums realized at the several stalls :
£ 8. d. Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Healey. 142 0 0 Mrs. Whittaker and Miss Cook 92 15 0 Misses Marsden .. ... 64 0 0 Mrs. Pilling . . . . . . 51 0 0 Mrs. Cunlifte .. . . 50 0 0 Entrance money . . 20 5 0
£410 0 0 We think it only just to acknowledge, in a more special form, the generosity of J. Ridgway, Esq., who sent us a present of porcelain, value £25, and a donation in cash of £10. To that friend of the Connexion and of mankind we tender
Rev. J. Poxon, presided, and addresses were given by the Rev. T. Rudge, Messrs. E. Taylor, J. Swift and J. Hallam. After an announcement of the progress of the bazaar, and the most hearty thanks of the meeting given to those ladies and gentlemen who had undergone the arduous task, the service was closed with singing and prayer.
The proceeds of the bazaar, with the donations in money and the amount raised by each stall, are as follows:
£ . d. Miss Hill and Miss Denton, in
cluding donations in money
22 15 9
.. ... ...
15 12 2 Mrs. Wild and Mrs. Kerry... 12 5 5 Mrg. Turner and Miss Mallinson 10 2 9 Sabbath-school donation ... ... 10 0 0 Refreshment stall ... ... ... 5 6 11 Proceeds of tea-party ... ... 1 5 1
Total ... £99 1 10 To those friends who have given us tueir aid, our hearty thanks are now presented. The object to be accomplished by this effort is a new Sabbath-school, the present one being but half large enough to contain the number of scholars. Therefore, the girls for several years have been taught in the chapel, which is an inconvenience both to our teachers and congregation. But ere long, by the help of God, our accommodation will be increased, and our usefulness become more extensive in the good work of Sabbathschool teaching. The Lord has prospered us, to him be ascribed all the praise !
Secretary to the Bazaar. May 18th, 1852.
MISSIONARY SERVICES. GUERNSEY CIRCUIT.-The annual sermons in aid of our missions were preached in Zion Chapel, on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and on the evening of the Wednesday following, by the Revs. H. Watts, of Staleybridge, and J. Graham, of Truro, the deputation. On Easter Monday the annual missionary meeting was held in Zion Chapel. The Rev. W. Wilde (Independent) took the chair, and introduced the business of the evening in & neat and appropriate speech. A brief report of the state of our Missions was given by the writer, after which excellent addresses, on the subject of Christian missions, were delivered by the Revs. H. Watts and J. Graham (the deputation), W. Laxan and J, Hine (Independents), S. Spurgean (Baptist), J. Brown (Bible
Our prospects in Bolton have been much improved by tbis successful effort, apart from all pecuniary considerations; and our cause is destined, with God's blessing, to improve much more rapidly than, a short time ago, could have been reasonably expected. We thank God and take courage.
J. C. ATTERCLIFFE BAZAAR.—This bazaar took place on Monday and Tuesday, the 12th and 13th of April, in the school under the chapel, the stalls occupying the two sides and end of the room, which were beautifully decorated and richly supplied with useful and ornamental articles, which surprised and delighted us all. The ladies, with their indefatigable labour, furnished and superintended the same. On the first day the room was crowded with visitors, who made rapid and extensive purchases. On the second day the attendance was not so large, but the sale was good. On the Wednesday following a tea-party was held, at which our highly esteemed superintendent, the
Christian ), Mr. Hunkin (Wesleyan), and other friends.
A missionary tea-meeting of a bighly interesting character was held in the school-room on the Tuesday evening. At this meeting the resident minister presided, and the meeting was addressed by Mesirs. Watts, Graham, Spurgean and Hunkin. The whole of the above services were well attended; the labours of the deputation, both in the pulpit and on the platform, gave much satisfaction to our people, and were made the means of hallowed excitement to many souls. The collections were nearly £3 in ad vance of the sum realized last year.
A. M'C. MISSIONARY SERVICES AT New. CASTLE.-On Sunday, April 1ltb, a ser mon was preached by the Rev. J. Howard, in Ebenezer Chapel, Newcastle, on be half of our Missions; and, on the follow. ing Tuesday, a tea meeting was held, the trays for which were gratuitously provided. At the meeting, over which J. Ridgway, Esq., presided with his ac. customed ability, excellent addresses were delivered by the Revs. T. Griffiths, J. Spears (Presbyterian), of Stafford, T. Crothers, J. Howard, A. Lynn, and Messrs. Lawton, Dickson, and Mort. The meeting was a highly interesting one. The entire proceeds, however, of the tea-meeting and collections fall a little below those of last year. At Knutton, Woolstanton, and Harpfield, sermons were preached and meetings held. The collections at each of these places present a decided improvement upon those of the year preceding.
The usual services have taken place also at Upper Hanley; and, on May 19th, an excellent missionary tea-meeting was held at Bucknall.
G.G. Newcastle. MISSIONARY SERVICES, BIRMINGHAM. -On the 25th of April, two sermons on behalf of our Missions were preached in Unett-street Chapel by the deputation, the Rev. W. Baggaly of Liverpool. On the same day, two sermons were preached for the same object, at Lichfield, by the Rev. C. Mann. On the following Monday evening & missionary-meeting was held in Unett-street Chapel, ably presided over by Mr. Manton, a distinguished member of the Independents of this town. A report having been read, the meeting was addressed by the Revs. W. Baggaly, H. O. Crofts, D.D., and C. Mann.
A similar meeting was held on Tuesday night, at Sparkbrook, over which our venerable friend Mr. T. Harris presided. The speakers on this occasion were the Revs. W. Baggaly, Dr. Crofts, and c.
Mann. On Wednesday night a meeting of the saine kind was held at Lichfield. Our excellent friend, Mr. W. Woodward, presided, and the speakers were the same as on the previous occasions.
It gives us great pleasure to state, that the above services were well attended, full of interest, and the collection at each place exceeded that of the previous year.
We were peculiarly favoured in baring the services of Mr. Baggaly, who has laboured four years in the missionary field in Ireland, together with those of Dr. Crofts, who has laboured twelve years in the cause of Missions in Canada. Both these honoured ministers were consequently fully prepared to instruct and interest the several audiences in the best possible manner. The various districts into which our Irish and Canadian Missions are divided were ably described, the difficulties of our missionaries, their exemplary piety and zeal, their wonderful success, and their consequent claims on our sympathy and support, were also set forth with great effect. The Home Mission also received its due share of attention.
One thing in connexion with these services deserves some notice. The city of Lichfield is the birth-place of Dr. Crofts, where he entered the ministry as a supply in the Birmingham Circuit, and under the superintendency of Mr. Baggaly. Both have laboured in the missionary field, and both on their return home were re-appointed to the Birmingham Circuit, one the successor of the other; and now, at the expiration of seventeen years, they meet again, not only in Birmingham, but in Lichfield Chapel, where, if we mistake not, Dr. Crofts preached his trial sermon. While addressing the meeting in that chapel, both made reference to their former meeting there, and appeared deeply sensible of the goodness of God in preserv. ing them and bringing them together again in the same place and on a missionary occasion.
C. Maxn. MISSIONARY SERVICES, WOLVERHAMPTON CIRCUIT.-Two sermons were preached at Bilston, on the 25th April, 1852, that in the morning by the Rev. J. Stokoe, on the “ Parable of the Sower," and that in the evening by the Rev. Thomas Boycott, of Tipton, on God's expostulation with the wayward Israelites, “ Why will ye die ?" These sermons on behalf of our Missions were followed by a missionary meeting on the Tuesday after, at which Samuel Griffith, Esq., of Wolverhampton, presided with great courtesy and equal ability. The chairman's address was followed by a brief